Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

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The New Nuclear

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Nuclear energy is a contentious issue.

By Ian Lowe

Will new technology make nuclear energy viable?

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Rules of Engagement

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Conserving large carnivores in the Northern Hemisphere is a major issue that researchers are having to deal with. The issues are different but the approaches are the same as those being pioneered in Australia. Credit: iStockphoto

By Prof Hugh Possingham

Approaches to conservation may differ around the world but the challenges are similar.

Prof Hugh Possingham is the Director of the Applied Environmental Decision Analysis centre at the University of Queensland.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Slime Moulds Get Smart

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Dr Tanya Latty has never lost her childhood fascination with “creepy crawlies”.

By Stephen Luntz

How can slime moulds make complex decisions when they don’t have a brain?

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Out of This World

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The PacMan-shaped hot spot has baffled scientists. Image: NASA/JPL

By David Reneke

Dave Reneke brings news from the space and astronomy communities around the world.

David Reneke is an astronomy educator, writer and broadcaster who represents Australasian Science on more than 60 networked radio stations across Australia. He also produces a range of educational CD-ROMS on astronomy and space exploration for beginners, and runs an astronomy outreach program for schools throughout NSW. Subscribe to David’s free Astro-Space newsletter at www.davidreneke.com

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

A Very Public Scientist

By Peter Pockley

Ian Lowe is proof of the value of scientists who apply their scientific training and experience to issues at the interfaces of science, technology, society and policy.

reminiScience draws on extended biographical interviews recorded by Peter Pockley for the Oral History Archives of the National Library of Australia. This is the 43rd interview in the series, which is progressively coming online at www.nla.gov.au/digcoll/audio.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Misremembering the Past

By Peter Bowditch

It is quite simple to build false memories, even ones as serious as sexual abuse.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Inside the Minds of the Trendsetters

image of Trendsetter

Social psychologists and consumer behaviourists have found that a small group of consumers are more “knowledgeable” than the majority of consumers. Known as “market mavens”, this group comprises 10–15% of the general population.

By John Gountas and Joseph Ciorciari

Brain scans have revealed which personality types are the most influential in the widespread adoption of new trends and technologies.

Dr John Gountas researches consumer behaviour at La Trobe University’s Faculty of Law and Management. Dr Joseph Ciorciari is a cognitive neuroscientist at Swinburne University’s Brain Sciences Institute.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Fresh Water Using Geothermal Heat

By Hal GurGenci

Geothermal heat can provide cheap fresh water to homesteads and small townships in the outback by removing salt from brackish aquifers.

Hal Gurgenci is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Queensland, and the Director of the Queensland Geothermal Energy Centre of Excellence, which was established last year by a $15 million grant from the Queensland government.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Freaks of the Sea

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In 1978 the German cargo vessel MS München was struck by a freak wave 24–30 metres high. Image from Horizon – Freak Wave courtesy of BBC Worldwide. © BBC/Monkey Experiment

By Murray Rudman

Once the stuff of maritime legend, rogue waves up to 30 metres high have been detected by satellites, posing a significant threat to shipping and oil rigs. Now computational scientists are smashing virtual rogue waves into virtual oil and gas platforms to help design stronger, safer structures.

Dr Murray Rudman is Program Leader of Computational and Mathematical Modelling at CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics in Melbourne.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Reef Emissions Affect Climate

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Reefs produce aerosols that affect rainfall locally.

By Graham Jones & Zoran Ristovski

Coral reefs produce a natural aerosol that creates clouds over the ocean and keeps sea surface temperatures stable – with implications for both reefs and rainforests.

Graham Jones is an Associate Professor in climate science at Southern Cross University, Lismore. Zoran Ristovski is an Associate Professor in atmospheric science at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.